F.U.S.E Fest Celebrates Urban Life and Building Positive Communities
Norfolk, Va. – On September 2nds, the nonprofit Teens With a Purpose (TWP)- The Youth Movement presented the 5th annual F.U.S.E Fest (Focus on Unity, Spirit and Edutainment), a free celebration of Norfolk urban life through interactive art, music, games, food & more. Sponsored by the City of Norfolk, this community-led, interactive festival, celebrates the heart of inner-city Norfolk in the Downtown Church Street District at the Attucks Theatre.
The Transformative festival was originally planned to be at the SCCS but moved indoors due to the weather. September 9th (11 am) will serve the new date for the official launch for the Safe Creative Community Space (SCCS) – a safe, welcoming neighborhood space for art, entertainment and learning in a beautiful, bountiful garden. The Development of the city-owned vacant lot adjacent to the Vivian C. Mason Teen Center for Arts and Technology Center, 700 E. Olney Road, started early summer of 2017.
Through F.U.S.E Fest, Twp and partner organizations affirm the beauty of community. RISE For Youth hosted two workshops in efforts to connect the community to local resources that’ll help strengthen our youth. Through stories of experiences and creative thinking, the workshops aimed to highlight alternatives to prison and help knit a closer, safer community. F.U.S.E Fest offered food, haircuts, gardening, and a moving exhibit by Performing Statistics giving a voice to the incarcerated youth rounds out the event.
The SCCS space will continue to grow as an environment for creation, application of the visual and performing arts and community gardening with activities that are educational, fun and artistically planned for remainder of the year. Members of the community are encouraged to contribute to the garden, to gather and add their voice and ideas to important subjects like juvenile justice reform and more. A Community Visioning Session will be held at the SCCS and Teens With a Purpose Open House on Monday, September 18th 5:30-7:30pm. Creative Youth Development programs are offered year-round at the VCM Teen Center.
Collaborative Partners Include: City of Norfolk, GEICO, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Slover Library, Norfolk Police Dept.; Keep Norfolk Beautiful, Chrysler Museum, Hampton Roads Pride, Unitarian Norfolk Church, Olive Grove Baptist Church, EVMS, Basilica of St. Mary, The Mission Continues, Hope for Tomorrow, South Hampton Roads League of Women Voters, South Hampton Roads Chapter of Virginia Organizing, Praise 1049 and Art180.